“The effort is called “Livable Roanoke Valley,” the latest initiative designed to gather and collate opinions on what people in the Roanoke Valley want to see done in order to make the area a better place to live, work and play. What’s different this time said Jake Gilmer, Project Manager for Livable Roanoke Valley, is that for the first time “a regionally coordinated plan of this fashion very much focused on issues of livability” may result.
Promoting greater economic opportunity and a greater quality of life is the goal; Gilmer looks for follow-up public meetings in the months ahead as the input gathered is fashioned into a plan and perhaps a final document in the next year or so. More than 50 organizations, including local governments, nonprofits, businesses and educational institutions are already involved in the effort.” – The Roanoke Star
Roanoke-area residents want more jobs, though not necessarily at the expense of natural assets and the environment, and Roanoke residents rate their quality of life higher than those of any other area locality. So say the results of the largest survey ever conducted of the priorities of residents of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area, which comprises Roanoke, Salem and the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig and Franklin. The telephone survey of 1,030 people was conducted in August and September by the Virginia Tech Center for Survey Research on behalf of the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley. It’s central to the research of the partnership, a group organized by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. – Roanoke Times
“How could the quality of life in the Roanoke Valley be improved? That’s what the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley is trying figure out. It’s an important, and unwieldy, question, and the partnership isn’t the first to try to answer it. But they believe their approach sets them apart. The group’s mission to better the Roanoke metro area begins with finding out what’s most important to people. That started with a late summer telephone survey of 1,000 people intended to reach a complete cross section of the community and will continue this week with a series of public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday. The partnership then plans to look at what the Roanoke Valley could be like in the future and create strategies to make it better based on what people say is most important. The partnership — made up of more than 50 local governments, nonprofits, businesses and educational institutions — also intends to create goals to measure success.” Roanoke Times
“At the forefront are developers like Lucas Thornton and Ed Walker, recently profiled in a New York Times article about Roanoke’s revitalization. Taking advantage of the city’s robust historical tax credit program, Walker has invested in the repurposing of old buildings, putting money back into the downtown area’s built environment, and rehabilitating historical buildings.
The City of Roanoke announced its partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge, a Department of Energy (DOE) national leadership program calling on corporate chief executives, university presidents, state, local, and school district leaders to reduce their portfolio-wide energy use by 20 percent by 2020 and showcase the solutions they use and the results they achieve. Roanoke pledged to reduce energy usage in 1.1 million square feet of its public facilities by 20 percent, as well as work with buildings in Roanoke to achieve similar savings. (City of Roanoke)
“The League of American Cyclists conducted the summit, which featured sections on Bicycle Friendly Universities, Businesses and Communities. Co-sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission, the commission’s Ride Solutions arm and the New River Valley Planning Commission, it was billed as being of interest to those concerned with environmental sustainability, air quality, transportation alternatives, fitness and quality of life.” The Roanoke Star-Sentinel
Jake Gilmer, of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, was recently featured in a series of interviews on how U.S. communities are becoming more livable. He provided examples of how the Roanoke Region is planning for its future through the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley. He also discusses transit service improvements in the region, as well as the City of Roanoke’s designation as a bicycle-friendly community. The videos were produced by the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities and can be found on the Regional Commission’s YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/RegionalCommission.
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is seeking sealed proposals from qualified consulting firms for regional planning services. Areas of emphasis include GIS mapping, public involvement, project management, scenario planning, graphic design, case study/best practices research, and compiling the final Livable Roanoke Valley Plan.
Due Date/Time: November 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM (local time)
Optional Pre-proposal Teleconference: October 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM (local time)
The requests for proposal package may be obtained by clicking here, by calling 540.343.4417, or at 313 Luck Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA.
“It is a nicely walkable city with a compact downtown centered around the Market District. The Historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest continually running open air market in Virginia, and area vendors offer locally grown foods and other products there 363 days a year. One block over is the City Market Building, a 1922 structure set to have its Grand Reopening on Labor Day after extensive renovations. Renowned artist Cheryl Foster has created colored tile mosaics at the building’s four main entrances, each depicting an element of Roanoke history and culture.” Knoxville News Sentinel
“According to the USDA data, Detwiler and every person in her census tract, which runs from the Gainsboro neighborhood north through the Lincoln Terrace area, has low access to a supermarket. That means the nearest supermarket is more than a mile away. While the USDA identified nearly 200 tracts in Virginia as food deserts, just 29 of them were noted for having 100 percent of residents with low access to a supermarket. Including Detwiler’s, four of those 29 are in Roanoke, spreading like a fan from Lincoln Terrace east around downtown to southeast Roanoke. Moreover, according to the USDA, nearly 40 percent of households in Detwiler’s neighborhood don’t own a vehicle. Just two tracts in the state, in Norfolk and Lynchburg, have a higher percentage. Among Virginia’s urban centers, only Petersburg has a higher percentage than Roanoke of total residents with low access to a supermarket, the USDA data show. Nearly 30 percent of Roanokers have poor food access. Lynchburg is a distant third place with 16 percent.” Roanoke Times